‘/unhappy with tranquility/’: Emily Dickenson visits Taft

For a first poem with rhyme, Ms. Taylor’s 8th Graders took a look at ‘I’m Nobody! Who are you?’ by Emily Dickenson. We talked about the internal rhyme, to whom and of whom the author might be speaking, and  lines, dashes and beats in the work. These beats we broke down into iambic trimeter and iambic tetrameter. To illustrate the point, various students took turns reading portions of the poem to the steady beat of the heart. The students also knew a lot about how Dickenson was a recluse, doled out candy to kids by lowering a basket down from her window and other interesting facts. Soon it was down to work to create their own identity poem in the Dickenson form.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
1st Period

Anna K.

I’m someone but I’m no-one
Who do you think-you are?
If you don’t then, I’m done.
If you do, think-twice!

You’re nobody really.
We’re all the same.
Don’t try to be unique-
You’ll just be blamed.


I am Somebody
Patricia M.

How lovely to be somebody!
To be very well-known
To smile at friends while they walk by
Then have to walk home along!

To do my homework every night
And watch TV at the same time
To finish it at twelve
And go to sleep real-well!


Will F.

I’m nobody! Who are you?
You don’t know me. I don’t know you.
If i’m a nobody, then you must be too.


Eugne N.

I am somebody! What are you?
Do you have friends; Who?
Then same-
Tell! We can be friends-you know!

How horrible-to be-Nobody!
How private-as a dm-
to tell one some–like a Monday
to a group of tired kids.


Olivia W.

I’m tired-I’m cold
In a bed-I’ll fold
With pale skin-in a room that’s dim
Return to my thoughts

Go back-not there-but here!
To the feeling of one’s soul
Never-as pure-as the gold
That substitutes! my life-long goal.


Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
3rd Period

Morgan Z.

I’m like-a-ghost
A light-inside-a-lamp
Turned off.

To you-and-more
Help me! I’m dead


Todd P.

Got rich, real quick
by making a poem
Like this, it is
Super easy, for you, to do.

I have, done it, and not
rich yet, but soon, I will
be in, Fiji, singing ohh, so perfectly.

So clear, and clean, so fierce, and
mean, you get, sent to, the dean.

To fresh, New J’s, give you,
a chance, to find, a way, to
slay, for beyond, you say.
I learned this from Mr. Rey.


Paul D.

I don’t | know myself| Do you| know| yourself?|
Good be|cause I | will know|myself in a few
years| time|and time|again I want| to know|
my| self|, but I cant| to wait| for that time|
to come|and see truly|who I am.|


Adrian S.

A nobody yet somebody-
with nothing to say
yet still not quiet and away
tell me what you are

Love I know decided to flee
to take everything from me-
I give what I cannot get
still nobody full of regret


Keara K.

I am somebody
but no one you’d care to know.
You won’t care about my name
some people only care for the fame.

You might not care at all
but I won’t let that get me down
I am always spreading cheer
to those I hold very dear.

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
6th Grade

Yesenia B.

I am nobody-
I am new-
I am nothing-
Like you-

From my head-to my toes-
The list-goes and goes-
But I will never-
Be something-like you


How About You?
Angela G.

I’m nobody! How bout you?
Do you-like being-nobody?
Then there’s people like us!
Don’t ask! they won’t-understand!

It’s sad-not being-somebody!
It’s private-like a secret-
To not be able-to be understood-
Like an aspiring somebody.


Tabitha L.

Though male and female seem nice,
A gender just feels way more right.
And even though it sounds confusing
Neutral pronouns are all I’m using.

It’s hard to remember
and I’m not always sure what to do,
I know my name change is weird,
so I feel bad correcting you.


Julia S.

I am nobody,
But it’s no longer cool
to be somebody
in the atmosphere of school

People think its cool to be
unhappy with tranquility
Our grades all drop, our heads all spin
but they made it a trend.

Darlene B.

I am who I am
I know what I can do
Inspired to reach something new
My days pass on during the week

All the 7 days go by
I always keep a positive mind
The sun will always shine through

Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
7th Period

Claudia M.

I am somebody-
out of three billion ‘nobodies’
Who is determined about
The smallest choices.

I am nobody
out of three billion ‘somebodies’
that is unsure of
what she will do with herself.


Michael B.

I am somebody
that you-will-make.
Use my words-
your thoughts-as clay.

I am somebody
that you -will-sculpt!
My intent far gone
In place of fate.


Oliva D.

I am somebody my family sees
Somebody whose different form the norm
I am somebody who cares
Somebody that my friends see.

I am somebody who tries in sports.
Somebody who seems to mess up when they try.
I am somebody in class who helps
Somebody who tries to put others first.

I am who you see.
I am the only me!


Jasmin L.

I am somebody who hopes for nobody
That cares for nobody
But sometimes
I am somebody who hopes for somebody
That cares for somebody.


Rhianna O.

I am nobody, but does it matter?
Between somebody and nobody, I’d take the latter.
Who really wants to be somebody-
I’d prefer seclusion than have my life on display.

They say it’s the good life-but is it worth living that way
Do you know your friends to be genuine?
I’d rather know who my real friends are-
I know I’m more free everyday.


Ms. Taylor, 8th Grade
8th Period

Ferrando M.

I am nobody!
Drifting the skies like a bird,
A man who ignores many
and follows to conquer that we call life.

I’d love to be a somebody!
Who fly the skies who flies the skies like a rock
and fall down, to be battered
I’d be prepared for life and
follow the simple thing we call life.


Miranda R.

This stays by you and me,
don’t tell anyone you know.
If you stay there and I stay near,
no one else will know.

To somebody who I can trust,
to dark turn into light.
The thing I say-in that day,
make it last the life.


Jessica W.

I am nobody. Who are you?
Are you somebody too?
A cloud, a bug, a human too,
Are all somebody too?

I am nobody, so are you,
We are all nobody,
Who try to be somebody
But somebody is nobody too.


Winston D.

My life today
is like a song
where I to be
a dreaming boy

Nothing will tell
me of my strife
I will show my
emotions here.


Jaden B.

Who are you?
and what do you do?
What are your favorite things?
I like to play musical notes

And play with rhythms too
I stay indoors
and play with the chords
all day long


I’m Nobody!
Jessica A.

I’m nobody. What about you?
Do you await the sunset too?
I’m falling through darkness.
is that you too? Or do you fly through light?

Could I be somebody-someday?
Or will I be nobody for an eternity?
Do I want to await the sunrise instead?
No-I shouldn’t stay in the shadows-because no bright future is there.



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.